Released: August Genre: Singer Songwriter Metacritic Score: N/A, but I gave it 95%
It may be the least adventurous and most traditional on my list but there’s something irresistibly charming about Foy Vance’s second studio album, released after a six year gap following debut ‘Hope’. It would have completely passed me by if not for a tweet from Ed Sheeran, who features on soulful closer ‘Guiding Light’, and I have Ed to thank for steering me towards my favourite folk styled album of 2013. Joy Of Nothing begins with the exuberant ‘Closed Hand, Full Of Friends’, one of the best songs I’ve heard this year. The track bursts into life brilliantly, and sets a tempo the rest of the album doesn’t exactly follow. Vance croons and passionately shouts his way through the tracks, backed by exquisitely laid orchestration which complements the albums more mellow moments and perks up its more dynamic. ‘At Least My Heart Was Open’ and ‘Regarding Your Lover’ poignantly address past relationships and the line ‘I would rather had you been vaporized by a lunar reflection in the sky than to be beguiled by one so burned out’ is poetry, no matter how odd it may sound. Vance has an obvious talent, in that he manages to make simple songs incredibly affecting, and his powerful voice and heartfelt music is a joy to listen to. His moustache is also highly commendable.